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The Florida Panhandle Travel Guide

Updated on April 14, 2012

The Florida Panhandle Travel Guide

You will find that the Florida Panhandle is located in the northwest part of the state. It has long been famous for it's beautiful beaches along the Gulf Coast. It includes the inland city of Tallahassee which is the capital of the state of Florida. You'll also find Florida State and Texas A&M University there.

You'll find that all the beaches are cleaned up and beautiful again. You will find some of the most beautiful beaches in the world here along the Emerald Coast. It's called that because of the beautiful emerald green water in the area. The Emerald Coast includes the counties of Walton, Bay, and Okaloosa. The Pensacola area is also included in this region. If I was planning a vacation to Florida I would plan a trip to the Emerald Coast area.

Destin Florida is in this area and it is my favorite town in the Panhandle. I could live there forever. The sands on the beach are beautiful and white and packed so tight that it squeaks when you walk on it. If you want to go deep sea fishing this is one of the best places in the world to do it. The fishing here is world class. As are the seafood restaurants in this area.

Watch the video just below on Destin Florida and I think you'll understand why I'm so in love with Destin Florida. In the video you can see the beautiful beaches of Destin. The sunsets and the sunrises over the beaches of Destin are just marvelous. Go to the beach early in the morning and you can find some wonderful sea shells there. It's also a great place to find sand dollars.

You'll find that the Florida Panhandle has held onto its southern culture more than any other part of Florida. In the Panhandle you'll find warm southern hospitality and some of the best southern food in the world.

You want to be sure to visit Captain Andersen's Seafood Restaurant on Thomas Drive in Panama City. The restaurant is located on the lagoon and you want to get there early enough in the day to see the fishing boats arrive and unload the days catch. This is a wonderful opportunity for some great photos. Some of my other favorite restaurants are Pompano's on Front Beach Road and the Salt Water Grill on Middle Beach. I think on Hutchison Road. I can highly recommend all three places as they have wonderful food with great prices.

I like to go real early in the morning to the beach and fly a kite. You should see how wild the sea gulls act when you fly a kite. It also gets a rise out of the brown pelicans. I like to watch the sea gulls as they try to figure out what the kite is. I've even had brown pelicans try to land on the kite. So it really is a lot of fun. I always bring a loaf of bread to feed the sea gulls and if you throw the bread up in the air they will try to catch it.

Destin, Florida Beach

Sunset On The Beach In Destin Florida
Sunset On The Beach In Destin Florida

Gulf Islands National Seashore: The Treasure of the Gulf Coast

Have You Ever Been To The Florida Panhandle?

Florida State is home to the Florida State Seminoles and most of the people in the Florida panhandle are huge fans of the Seminoles. If you visit Tallahassee you'll find a real party atmosphere. There are a lot of great places to eat in Tallahassee.

Interstate 10 cuts across the Florida Panhandle but you want to be sure to get off the interstate and check out the back roads. Because its on the back roads where you'll find a lot of old Florida and everything that goes along with it. A car is really important to get around in this area because other than Amtrak or Greyhound there really is no public transportation.

You'll find an airport in Pensacola and you can fly there and rent a car. You can drive your car around and visit the Florida Panhandle and then return the car and fly home. If you use care and explore a little bit you can still find some great bargains on lodging in the Florida Panhandle.

You want to be sure to check out Gulf Islands National Seashore while you're in the Florida Panhandle area. Gulf Islands National Seashore offers exploration, history, camping, and some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. Be sure to watch the video above about the Gulf Islands National Seashore. You'll also find the most beautiful white sand beaches in the world there. You can give the Park Headquarters a call at 850-934-2600. Be sure to ask them to send you all the information they can. You can also Google , " Gulf Islands National Seashore " and find out a lot about this area.

Don Tristan de Luna a Spaniard tried to establish the first Spanish settlement on Santa Rosa Island which later became Pensacola. Fort Barrancas, Fort Pickens, and the ruins of Fort Mcree are located in the Gulf Islands National Seashore. All of these forts were important during the American Civil War. You have to see the Naval Live Oaks Reservation while your in the area. The US Government purchased this area during the Adams administration so the US would have a ready supply of wood to build their ships with. Florida tried to sell the land off in the late 1960s and the US Government reasserted its ownership of the area and it was included in the Gulf Islands National Seashore on January 8th 1971 to protect the trees and the area from development. Four species of sea turtle nest in the Gulf Islands National Seashore area. Most of the Gulf Islands National Seashore is located on barrier islands.

The barrier islands hold some of the most beautiful dunes in Florida. The dunes are held in place by sea oats and beach grass and the dunes are a lot more stable today than in the past. Do you know why there are no condos on Perdido Key? Its all because of a tiny little mouse that makes its home on Perdido Key. The Perdido Key Sea Mouse has kept the area from being developed because it makes its homes in the sand dunes. It is now illegal to remove any type of plant life from the sea dunes.

The Perdido area is off of Florida Route 292 southwest from Pensacola on Johnson Road on Perdido Key.

"Live the dream" Perdido Key

St. Marks Lighthouse
St. Marks Lighthouse
Destin Florida
Destin Florida

More Information About The Florida Panhandle.

Another of my favorite places is Gulf Breeze where a famous UFO incident took place. You get to Pensacola on Highway 98 via the three mile bridge. I really like the laid back atmosphere of the Gulf Breeze area.Be sure that you check out Billy Bob's Barbecue located at 911 Gulf Breeze Pkwy in Gulf breeze. They have some of the best barbecue in Florida. A great inexpensive place to eat. You can give them a call at 850-934-2999.

Another area you really want to be sure to check out is Pensacola Beach. Pensacola Beach is located in Escambia County. It is located on Santa Rosa Island which is a 40 mile round barrier island. During Pensacola's early days the town faced repeated Indian attacks so the town was moved to Santa Rosa Island where the town could be better protected. However the town was forced back to the mainland in 1752 by repeated bad hurricanes and that's why you find Pensacola Beach on Santa Rosa Island today. And why Pensacola is located where it is.

Pensacola Regional Airport is only 10 miles north of Pensacola Beach and it is served by six airlines. You can fly in there and rent an automobile and visit all of the Florida Panhandle.

A lot of the motels and hotels on Pensacola Beach rent bicycles and it's a great way to explore Santa Rosa Island where Pensacola Beach is located. If you get tired of riding your bike the free beach trolleys on the island have bike racks so you can enjoy the free trolley and take your bike with you for the return trip. Most of the barrier island though is completely flat so riding a bike here is real easy.

You can charter a boat on Pensacola Beach to go deep sea fishing and almost everyone who goes fishing from here catches fish so I can highly recommend the deep sea charters out of Pensacola Beach. Ask around among the locals which charter service they recommend.

Fort Pickens is located on the island just west of Pensacola Beach. The site is maintained by the National Park Service and Fort Pickens is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the area. The Native American Geronimo was held at the fort for some time. You will find that there are nature trails, uncrowded beaches, and camping in the area. Keep an eye out for birds nesting because it is illegal to bother nesting birds here. Taking photos is interesting but keep your distance.

You'll find that the beaches of the Florida Panhandle are some of the most beautiful beaches in the United States. A lot of people don't realize it but this area of Florida is usually warm in winter and there are far fewer people on the beaches in winter. You'll also find that the hotels and motels are cheaper in the winter. You can usually check the weather forecast for the Florida Panhandle and see what the weather is going to be like when you get there.

I want to thank you for taking the time to read my Hub Page on the Florida Panhandle and I hope you get to make a visit to the Florida Panhandle real soon. Thanks for reading and I hope you have a wonderful day.

Fort Pickens

Pensacola Beach Sign.
Pensacola Beach Sign.

Pensacola Beach - Isla del Sol

I hope you will post your comments about the Florida Panhandle now. And thanks for reading.

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